Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced legislation to commemorate Judge Harold Murphy’s legacy by naming a federal courthouse in his honor. Congresswoman MTG delivered the following remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives:
“I rise today to honor a man who devoted his life to the service and protection of our nation, Judge Harold Murphy.
Born in Felton, Georgia, in 1927, Judge Murphy attended West Georgia College before serving in the Navy toward the end of World War II. He resumed his studies at the University of Mississippi and the University of Georgia School of Law, where he graduated in 1949. He began a law practice in Haralson County, Georgia, and in 1950 was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives as the youngest Member at the time.
Judge Murphy served five consecutive terms before stepping down in 1961 to focus on practicing law. In 1971, Judge Murphy was appointed by Governor Jimmy Carter to the Superior Court for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, and following his election in 1976, President Carter nominated Judge Murphy to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He was confirmed by the Senate on July 28, 1977.
For 45 years, he served his country on the Federal bench and became an acclaimed jurist and legal icon with a stellar reputation that extended far beyond Georgia. He always displayed a quick wit and a keen sense of humor, was kind and empathetic, and treated all those who appeared before him with courtesy and respect.
Judge Murphy once subpoenaed a talking myna bird who had “witnessed” a store robbery to testify in court.
Judge Murphy’s humor was only surpassed by his fairness and prudential impartiality. In fact, he is the only judge that was known to receive Christmas cards from inmates in prison that Judge Murphy himself put away! He was so excruciatingly fair and impartial, that, during one case, he even talked a defendant out of a guilty plea.
Judge Murphy worked tirelessly and carried a full docket until the age of 90, when he took senior judge status in the Northern District of Georgia. He continued to preside over cases until his death on December 28, 2022.
Judge Murphy received many professional awards and recognitions, including from the State Bar of Georgia and the University of Georgia School of Law.
In 2014, Alabama State University renamed its graduate school after Judge Murphy in recognition of his landmark ruling in Knight v. Alabama, a long-running case that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals asked him to handle involving the vestiges of racial segregation then present in the Alabama University System.
Above all else, Judge Murphy was a loving and devoted husband and father—and a strong role model who made everyone who knew him in northwest Georgia proud.
The daily sight of Judge Murphy leading his gaggle of clerks to lunch on Broad Street will be deeply missed by the community in Rome that he loved so much, and that loved him back.
The people of the 14th District of Georgia therefore urge the House to pass this bill, to name the building at 600 East First Street in Rome, Georgia, the “Harold L. Murphy Federal Building and United States Courthouse”.